Reporting Holly Quan
OAKLAND (KCBS) – Could the Golden State Warriors be moving across the Bay to San Francisco? Some high levels talks are going on about possibly building a new arena near AT&T Park, in a parking lot across from McCovey Cove.
The team confirmed the rumored discussions Friday in a news release saying:
We are just at the very beginning of this process, and we are open to exploring all viable options in the Bay Area, including potential solutions in Oakland.
We also had the opportunity to meet with San Francisco Mayor Lee this week. At the meeting, Mayor Lee recommended that we engage with the City and the Giants in exploring the feasibility of an arena site in San Francisco, potentially at a location near AT&T Park, which all parties agreed to do.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Oracle Arena in Oakland, where the Warriors currently play, is the oldest in the NBA. It was built in 1966 and team brass have talked in the past about having to replace it. But, Wednesday’s meeting with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Giants CEO Larry Baer represent the first time the Warriors owners have talked publicly about moving across the Bay.
Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are considering a spot for their team just south of AT&T Park. Ideally, they would like to see the facility open before the 2017 season, when the Oakland lease runs out.
Currently, the China Basin area they’re eyeing is already set up, logistically, for baseball crowds – specifically, with mass transit nearby – making sense to add a 20,000 seat arena along with a parking garage in the area.
Is it a good location for a basketball venue? That was the topic of discussion on KCBS 740AM and 106.9FM on Friday morning, with KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier who spoke with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:
“Well, they’re talking about an arena…a sort of smaller version of Madison Square Garden. “They’re talking about an arena where there will be no parking concessions, none of that, it will just be filling out the ground that’s already there.”
“Now, before we get too pie in the sky and ain’t this all grand, let’s also look at the play here,” continued Matier. “The Warriors might be looking for a new home because they have new owners, the first thing a new owner of any sports franchise does is say ‘maybe I’ll like a better place.’”
“You’re missing the real point,” chimed in Brown. “Basketball is like a hotel located in your downtown area. Basketball is where people go to see the games and then they leave and go promptly across the street to a bar, or to a restaurant. That isolated facility in Oakland is unattractive by any stretch of the imagination – and so you want a basketball arena downtown.”
Still, the Warriors are also looking at sites in Oakland for new development.
“Their lease is up in Oakland, so guess what? They come and talk to San Francisco and then they go and say by the way, (Oakland) Mayor (Jean) Quan, we’re going over to talk to San Francisco,” pointed out Matier. “So they’re going to pit two cities against each other to try to spread it around for the best deal.”
Meanwhile, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was set to make some sort of announcement regarding Major League Baseball at noon Friday. A short press release didn’t indicate what she would say. But, she has been battling an effort by Oakland As owner Lew Wolff to move his team to San Jose – something Major League Baseball would have to approve, because the San Francisco Giants have territorial rights there.
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